top of page

[NEWS] ACT State Nomination Reopens, New Occupation List Released

Australian Immigration News

The news a lot of you have been waiting for: ACT state nomination for closed list occupations REOPENS TODAY! Furthermore, two important changes to the ACT migration program also comes into effect today, 29 November 2019.

We know you have been anxiously waiting to get more details, particularly about the Canberra Matrix. Here's a summary of everything we know so far, what we don't know yet and also some tips from our migration experts.


CHANGE #1 - Simplified set of minimum requirements

Instead of having 6 sets of requirements under 6 different scenarios, they have simplified it into only 2 categories: Canberra Residents and Overseas Residents. You are not eligible to apply if you, or any dependents are working/living in a different state.

The main requirements are now:

  • 1. 12 months of residence in ACT in the last 2 years (from July 2019, this is increased to 2 years for current Student/TR visa holders)

  • 2. Part-time/full-time employment in ACT in the 3 months prior to submitting your EOI. The employment does not have to be related to your nominated occupation

  • 3. Proficient English (IELTS 7.0) for ANZSCO Major Occupation Group 1 (Managers) or Group 2 (Professionals) occupations.


CHANGE #2 - New ACT occupation list


CHANGE #3 - Selection process is now based on the new Canberra Matrix

The Matrix awards points for various factors, and ranks all applicants according to the points they score. Every month, the top-ranking candidates will be selected. ACT government will publish the cut-off for invitation every month.

Factors include:

1. Length of residency in ACT

  • <1 year [0 points], 1 - 2 years [5 points], 3 - 4 years [15 points], >4 years [20 points]

2. English proficiency

  • Competent (IELTS 6.0) [0 points], Proficient [10 points], Superior [15 points]

3. Spouse/Partner's English proficiency

  • Competent [0 points], Superior/Proficient [5 points]

4. Whether the nominated occupation is 'open' or 'closed' on the ACT occupation list

  • 'Closed' [0 points], 'Open' [20 points]

5. Length of employment in the ACT

  • N/A [0 points], 6 - 12 months [5 points], >12 months [10 points]

6. Level of employment in the ACT

  • N/A [0 points]

  • Previous ACT employment in nominated occupation for at least 1 year [5 points]

  • Working in ANZSCO skill level 1 - 3 occupation [5 points]

  • Working in 'open' but not nominated occupation [10 points]

  • Working in 'open' nominated occupation [15 points]

7. Spouse/Partner employment

  • N/A [0 points]

  • Currently working in any occupation [5 points]

  • Tertiary qualification in any occupation (at least three years study) [5 points]

  • Skill assessment relevant to current occupation [10 points]

  • Working in an ‘Open’ occupation in the ACT [15 points]

8. Highest qualification

  • N/A [0 points]

  • Diploma qualification/s studied over at least 2 years' full time [5 points]

  • Bachelor degree or trade certificate [10 points]

  • Master’s degree [15 points]

  • Doctoral degree [20 points]

9. Length of study in ACT

  • N/A [0 points], 1 year [5 points], 2 years [10 points], ≥3 years [15 points]

10. Ownership of assets in Canberra

  • N/A [0 points]

  • ≥ $250,000 investment in ACT property [5 points]

  • Majority business ownership with ≥$100,000 turnover [5 points]

  • ≥ $200,000 investment in a start-up ACT business [5 points]

11. Close family ties with Canberra

  • N/A [0 points]

  • Australian citizen/ PR parent, grandparent, brother, sister [10 points]

  • Australian citizen/ PR spouse/partner, child [20 points]

12. Bonus points available up until July 2019 for certain people who moved to ACT before July 2018 [10 points]


What does this mean for me?

The period of uncertainty is over. It is now clear exactly what you need to do in order to become eligible for ACT state nomination.

"So what are my chances of getting invited?". Unfortunately it's very hard to determine your chances right now.

Yes, the new program has been finalised, but how many points is enough points? This can only be determined once ACT government releases the invitation points cut-off, and the first points-cut off won't be released until next month.

If you have already met the 12-month residency requirement and you still have time left on your current visa, it may be worth waiting to see the results of the first round of invitation before you apply for nomination yourself. This way, you can see what the points benchmark will be.

If you are still working towards your 12-month residency, it’s worth studying the Canberra Matrix and seeing how else you could score additional points (e.g. employment, etc.) by the time you apply for ACT nomination.

We’ll update provide updates once the first results are released, which is likely to be early next year.


If you have any questions around how this news affects you, speak with one of our migration experts today!


bottom of page